The World has Lost its Way

Warning for possible offensive content

Religion as a whole has played an imperative role in this world since the beginning of time. Despite the growing number of atheists and scientologists (whom themselves are known as religionists) one cannot deny the fact that all wars and major movements had, in some major way, to do with religion.

We know that when the British, Dutch, Portuguese and French colonists started to rule their respective countries, part of their corruption was to enforce Christianity unto the native people.

Even nowadays when the claim behind war lies in nuclear weapons and oil, everyone knows the truth lies in what religion that country predominantly follows. Only those willingly living in ignorance would deny that fact.

In fact, let me cite some examples.

Afghanistan – the taalibaan and Russians were fighting over what? Even when America came in so nicely to help, they had a second agenda. And conveniently they turned their backs on Osama bin Laden when it suited them.

Iraq – sure it was nuclear weapons they were hiding.

Burma – Don’t even lie to me and pretend that that genocide had nothing to do with those people being Muslims.

Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Syria – the list goes on. Even now with the #JusticeForAsifa campaign raging on, it boils down to what?

But what is my point here? That is the question.

You see, recently I received some horrifying news regarding the corruption of this world. Truth is, we know that this world is going to mash potatoes, but in what way?

I think the fact is that people have lost purpose, have begun to live unknowingly for the evil that resides in each one of us. No I am not being morbid. I’m being straight.

And what is that evil? Our desires . The world is living to do what it wants. And I promise you that that is the reason for all this hate and war and bloodshed and pain.

Every religion has a law and a certain way of life. If people respected that, this world would not be what it is today. Let’s face it. It’s out of control.

Children have no respect for their parents. People stab and shoot each other without giving a thought of taking a life. Rape and sodomy and blasphemy and nudity and…I cannot even continue.

It had become so terrible that even those considering themselves religious have warped their religion into an unrecognisable lump of coal.

The original Bible and Psalms have long since been lost and so Christianity and Judaism is no longer pure and now people commit heinous acts in the name of religion (*cough cough* ISIS*cough cough*)!!!

Then I come across this!!!

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What is this rubbish? This PERSON claims herself a Muslim (spit on that because wth) and yet she goes against the fundamentals of the very religion of Islam. I’m sure that if I had to dig deeper into this issue, I would be even more horrified .

And it’s not only Islam. How many stories are there about corrupt Priests and what the Pope is really up to and there is chaos around the world simply because people warp what they want, to suit them.

Frankly I am so disgusted that if I had to truly express my feelings, we would not be able to publish this article.

We have to face it. People have lost respect and dignity and are only living to find a way to fulfil the emptiness in their souls. Perhaps it is by being the most controversial, most abhorrent human beings they can be. Who knows? In this race, everyone is winning and everyone will come out the losers too.

 

Allah (God) save us all.

Crime and our lives

We’ve reached a stage of living where none of us are really ever safe. It’s a constant worry every single second:

Make sure you’ve locked the car doors, don’t keep your windows rolled down, lock the gate and have cameras, switch on the alarm before going to bed and the list goes on. Ways to have some sort of peace of mind in order to remain sane because we don’t know if we’ll make it to the end of the day or if we’ll have a bullet through our heads.

In my home, the conversations we have at dinner are the best ways to have our cameras placed so that there are no blind spots and we’d be able to spot someone trying to sneak in when we’re reversing out of our yard. This is what the kids in my family are subjected to because of the crime in our country and all the others too.

We’ve reached a point where no one can be trusted. Not out work colleagues nor our own family members because anyone can decide that money is more important than loyalty.

Its been a while since we’ve posted anything, that’s because I’ve been looking for the perfect new piece to talk about and the only thing being talked about has been shootings, theft, hijacks, robberies, deaths etc. then today when I read the news about sixteen prisoners escaping from the Sun City jail, I decided that enough is enough.

The man who killed his four nieces and nephews.

The man who had twenty clitorises stored in his freezer.

Three people killed at a taxi rank shooting with two left injured.

Three school robberies in one week.

A traffic officer abducted by four men then shot dead.

These are only a few cases and yet its too much! So many innocent lives at stake and why? Because some of them are working hard to make something out of their lives so that’s the only incentive needed to take their earnings away?

Some have done absolutely nothing but their lives are also at stake because of jealousy and hatred?

If that’s not enough, we get to feel even more insecure because the few criminals that have been caught can easily waltz out of their cells and come out to terrorize us once again. To make it worse, not one, two, or even three criminals but sixteen. How is it possible that sixteen criminals can escaped a highly guarded prison with top surveillance methods unnoticed? If this is not a new low for our country, I don’t know what is.

It’s not fair that we have to live in constant fear, it’s not fair at times these criminals can get away with little to no consequences and that our lives are constantly at risk because of people who don’t want to work so they feel like its fine to steal from us, that they need to support their drug addictions or are just psychopaths who enjoy seeing us cower in fear.

Our first human right is the right to life and if even that right is being threatened what does that say about our country? And what is more sad is that we’ve all got so used to it that we’ve taken it onto stride.
I don’t know about you but I do know that I do not wish to life in such a state nor would I want my loved ones to have to suffer so.

But what can be done? Is anywhere safe anymore?

To Love All is to Eradicate Hate

To wake up safe and sound, knowing that walking out of your house bodes no evil for you, is a right that every human should have.

Being who you are, believing in what you want, and living your life is a right that every human should have too.

Respecting everyone’s opinions and ways of life, even if you disagree with it, is a responsibility that comes with all those rights.

So how dare we call ourselves humans of the 21st century when our biggest problem today is not money or power, but demanding that everyone live it in a certain way?

No, do not delude yourself and tell me that countries are at war because of money. That is a lie. Every single innocent person who is dying, loses their life because of someone’s hatred for what they represent.

And if that’s not the most disgusting thing ever, I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, being the 27th of March was Muslim Women’s Day. So why didn’t I post something in honour of that on that day, one may ask?

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The answer is simple. Whilst it’s an honour to have a day dedicated to us, I don’t fully support the idea behind it.

Why?

Because every day is a day for every woman to be special and heard and honoured. And women of every religion. And so too for men.

So for that day do I mention the #metoo campaign, the gun violence, the bloodshed of this world? Or do I leave all that and talk about what’s really bothering me?

Let’s face it The 3rd of April approaches and while for some it may be a normal day, for others, especially those in the UK, it is a day of dread.

Why? For those of you who do not know, some evil, psychopathic monsters have declared it: Punish A Muslim Day.

You may think I am joking but I do not lie. This is an actual thing.

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So there are people who will be forced to cower in their homes, in the fear that their lives will be endangered for a game. Why are more people not speaking out against this? Yes, reporting the news is one thing but what about telling people how to be safe, to tell them that they are not alone? What about letting people know that these psychopaths are not going to win and that we have not survived 1400+ years only to be scared by threats on a poster?

And newsflash for these nincompoops. You are not doing a very good job of trying to drown out the surge that Islam is experiencing because if the support that people are showing to Muslims and the hundreds of new masjids being built in London is any evidence then I can safely say, you have lost your campaign before it had even begun. 

Due to the horror of this campaign, another one has been launched and it has gone viral. The new, and improved, Love A Muslim Day.

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So while we sit and seethe at the horrors being inflicted on all the humans of the world, we ask you to raise your hands and pray for the guidance of these terribly lost souls who have obviously gone astray and need someone to show them the way back to humanity.

Everyone is suffering so much in this world. How does anyone have the time to dedicate portions of their lives to hurting other people? What kind of sick monsters are you that you need to see others suffering to get pleasure?

I am unfortunately so used to hearing abuse against my religion and seeing people misinterpret our peaceful ways that I barely flinch. But this is taking it too far.

It’s back to the Days of Ignorance when Our Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon his soul) suffered with his followers and people would take pleasure in hurting them.

Remember, they never backed down and they came out on top. 

We will not back down and one day, we too will come out on top.

Desivloggers have made a video to bring attention to this atrocity. I suggest that you watch it and be careful around this horrific time.

Yours with love

Ayesha Abdullah

Reporting for Change for the 22nd, The News – Our Perspective: What’s Happening Worldwide

I’m scared for this world

I’m scared for this world.

Oh! What have we done to it? Everyday I dread scrolling through my newsfeed,  hoping not to find news which rips my heart into bits.

News of indescribable oppression, tragedy, chaos and death. News which makes me lose my faith in humanity and takes away my breath.

The Syrian War, Refugee Crisis, Palestinian Situation, Saudi-Yemen conflict, who can also forget the recent Rohingyan tragedy? And every other country where oppression is still catastrophic.

Isn’t it a shame that we civilians have always been a target of corrupt leaders and politicians,                                                                                                                                        How the media always blames the common man for these tragedies.                                 And how about the constant disputes which exists within the Muslim communities?

If only, we all could join hands towards this injustice instead of creating divisions. And hopefully become friends instead of enemies.

If only we could show the world that our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) has taught us,                                                                                                                                               To never forget what unites us instead of what divides us.

 

Instagram Poet- @ranawrites

Was kind enough to share this with us. She hits on a common problem eating up the conscience of all of those with even a thread of humanity left in them. We try our best to make a difference and Rana too chooses to make a difference using her words.

A little bit about Rana:

A caffein addict. Introvert. Short tempered within reason. An avid procrastinator. On weekends you’ll most likely find me snuggled up in a couch catching up on world news or reading conspiracy theories instead of going out and having fun.                                          I live with two cats. An extrovert toddler and a friend who turns into a husband especially when there’s cleaning to do.

If you liked what you read then follow @ranawrites for more!

Young & Free or Old & Trapped???

Emancipated

M. G. REYES

quiz-emancipated

So this book was one of those that belonged in the category of “remains on my bookshelf for two years before I decide to finally pick it up and then I regret not having read it earlier.”

By that you already have an idea of how this review is going to go.

So long story short, its about a group of teenagers who get a taste of freedom and are having the time of their lives. They all end up in the same house for completely different reasons and each one holds his own secret very close. It’s a wonderful life-living without parents and getting to do whatever you want to do-but one does not remain on cloud nine for eternity, so when things go bad, they go real bad.

It was a pleasant and easy read. It was a mixture of drama, mystery and young romance. A group of teenagers, all with extremely different personalities and backgrounds learning how to deal with the adult life and realizing that it’s not as easy as adults have made it out to be. It’s not easy to clean up after oneself and it’s definitely not easy to take responsibility for one’s own misdoings.

It’s different from the books that I’ve been reading and these days I’ve been trying to stay away from books where the characters are much younger than yours truly but surprisingly their extreme youth didn’t put me off all that much.

It was a lot of fun trying to connect the dots, and seeing where the book was taking me. I was on my toes for the whole ride, screaming at the characters to shut up and stop giving secrets away!

The synopsis says: “The bad boy, the good girl, the diva, the hustler, the rocker and the nerd.” So obviously I tried to match these titles to the characters. It was the best part of the beginning of the book and realizing that I had made a mistake and was wrong about my assumptions was even better.

This book is the first of a trilogy and I can see the characters growing and becoming better as they mature. I hope for good in the next two books.

What do I think about this book? I enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone interested in a YA novel that will take them on a nice ride.

Yours Truly,

Hafsa Umar

The Jewel Box

By Anna Davis

Two Sisters. Two Lovers. Too Many Secrets.

Image result for the jewel box by anna davis

This book needs but one word to describe it. Scandalous. Utterly and truly. Set in 1927, we follow the life of woman who is trying to find her place in a world that is harsh and cruel and full of pain. Seeing as it was set in a time of war and after it, one would expect death and sadness. And one would get that.

One thing that i loved about this, was that it was full of secrets and surprises. Scandalous secrets and surprises but they were nonetheless surprising and arresting.

I happened to stumble across this book when looking for something to read in a bunch of books someone had downloaded to my computer and it was truly a ride. You learn about people’s pain and suffering and about their sacrifices for love. Not only romantic love but love for family and love for other people’s happiness.

While our main character can be selfish and ruthless, she is also suffering her own woes, hiding herself behind cigarettes, flashy events and crude words. With a stylish bob and nails that could cut a man, she waltzes through the chapters and obviously finds love at the end of a truly confusing battle.

There are characters to hate, who are self-serving and despicable and there are damaged souls and a struggle to move on, too.

What’s great about this author’s writing is that she takes you through the journey and never lets you get bored but you see the struggle and it’s just perfect.

The opening chapter is a news article written by our main character under a pseudonym and through her we see the plight of women. So feminists reading this, take joy in how far we’ve come from 1927 when women over 30-35 were only allowed to vote and showing encouragement achieving anything better for women was frowned upon.

If you google this book, you will see a short but comprehensive enough summary.

What I am telling you here, is that for a break from the normal boring meet-cute romances and cliches, take a peek at this.

Still tittering

Ayesha Abdullah

 

Bo Haro Poiro Che

My life as an Indian at this point consists solely and only of one thing: looking for a husband. Well, I may be exaggerating a little bit. No, I am not on a mad hunt for a man. I’m working. I’m studying. I’m living a peaceful (well, as peaceful as it can get with a family like mine) life and I’m growing up. While not many would agree with this, I think I am. I no longer wake up five minutes before I need to leave the house, dress, brush my teeth, sprint outside with socks, scarf, shoes, flask and the rest of world in my hands to complete my morning routine in the car. It’s a good start, the rest will come with time.

When you reach the age of twenty (I say twenty but everyone knows it starts at sixteen!) in the Indian society, your name is enlisted in a thing called ‘The Single Women’s Club’. Us, single women, are not part of this club nor do we have a say in it.

This club was established long ago when some old aunty had decided that Indian women, if not married by a certain age, would be considered too old to find a ‘Haro Poiro’ i.e a good boy, and then shrivel up and die single. She approached her fellow old aunty friends and they too agreed that this was a concern that needed to be dealt with so they started a secret club and decided that they’d never let this happen to a woman in their society. All of them would be happily married and making rotis for their Haro Poiros before the age of 25. So at weddings and funerals the old aunties would find their targets, draw the innocent girls in by asking simple questions at first and then they’d strike!

Their main phrase was: When are you getting married? I know such a good boy for you!

Naturally the girl would refuse so they’d go after the parents next. This went on until they found suitable matches for all the eligible girls then they’d wait excitedly for the next batch of girls to come of age.

When one became too old to do her job, she’d let her daughter into the club to carry on this noble work after her. This club is alive and thriving till today. It’s a secret club, that’s why you didn’t know about it. Well, now you do, you’re welcome.

As a twenty-year-old female, I have entered the club’s radar. All eyes are on me. As I go on with my everyday life, there’s always the talk of my future husband.

It’s a common discussion in my house since I am the next in line to get married anyway. I’m always being asked questions like: “What do you want in a husband?” “Would it be a problem if he lived in…?” “What do you expect from him after marriage”

I also live with a very opinionated mother who already has a long list of demands and prerequisites for her future son-in-law and a father who is adamant on finding me the best (May Allah bless them).

But with everyone giving me their own opinions, this leaves me very confused.

So recently my cousin got married and I met a lot of the old aunties who kept telling me that I’m next in line.  They asked me when I’m going to get married and some of the ‘Aunties-versions 2.0’ would have the nerve to ask me if I had a boyfriend. Um… hello? My parents may be slightly more modern than the average Indian parents but that does not mean they’d let me get away with a boyfriend easily. No, I’d get away crawling on my knees after ± 35 hits with a sjambok and the wooden spoon and maybe if I’m lucky I’d escape without the velan but there is no such thing as luck in an Indian household so I’d most probably get the velan too. Also, haram! Let’s not forget that.

When I’m asked when I’m going to get married, my answer is, “I still have time, I don’t need to worry about that now,” and it’s true. I’m only twenty and I have many dreams and goals and as it is I’m confused about what I want in a husband. But that’s fine too because when the time comes for me to choose, when I see him, I hope it’ll fall into place. Not in a novel ‘love at first sight’ nor a ‘sparks and fireworks’ kind of way but I hope that I’d be ready to decide if he is who I want to spend my life with based on what I know about him.

I also know that I’d have the support of my parents and their advice and wisdom to guide me in a decision affecting the rest of my life.

I have experienced friends who would try their best to help me and my teachers and mentors who would kick me if I made a decision based on the butterflies in my stomach and didn’t look at the bigger picture.

Right now I’m dealing with a series of potential suitors. Some are too short (tall people problems) and some are perfect but in the wrong country. It’s a long process to find the missing piece of the puzzle.

But guess what? There’s no rush! (I’m not going to mention my outbursts every once in a while when I just want to get married because all of my friends are getting married and I complain about my husband taking so long to make his grand appearance. Mentioning that would defeat the purpose of my whole speech) Because good things take time 😉

Single and ready to mingle

Hafsa Umar

UNWANTED

“In the times of ignorance, they buried girls alive.”

When I was young I would read this sentence in our Islamic History books and naturally, being a female, I was appalled. I’d think, “Well, I’m grateful that I was born long after those days!”

Isn’t it great that people don’t do that anymore? Well, yes, it would be great if people didn’t do that anymore.

But? They do.

Wait. What am I talking about?

Montenegro – a country in the Balkans. People who consider women to be inferior to men so that is exactly how women are treated there. I know that that is a problem in many other places too, that is why we have groups of amazing women fighting for women’s rights everywhere. But the people of Montenegro have taken it to a whole new level.

 Demographic statistics confirm that in Montenegro the average for newborns is 100 females to 116 males. [Erik Messori/CAPTA/Al Jazeera]

 

There’s an open secret. It was kept quiet until the Women’s Right Centre decided to speak up about it. This open secret I’m talking about? Selective abortion.

You don’t want a daughter because she won’t be able to carry your surname when she gets married? Well, that’s fine! Just take a prenatal test. If it’s a girl, you could always get an abortion. It’s that easy… and ugly beyond belief.

A billboard from the UNWANTED campaign. It says: “Your parents wanted a son and that’s why you did not have a chance to be born… Sorry”
Milena, 29, has three children – her firstborn daughter Ines, and two sons Fedja and Bodin. Pregnant women in Montenegro often undertake a prenatal test to determine the gender of their babies. [Erik Messori/CAPTA/Al Jazeera]

I thought we had surpassed the time when women were considered nothing, when we were considered the possession of another and only good enough to bear offspring. I thought we were passed the time when the only pride of the family would be a baby boy to carry the name to the next generation. A time when there would be pressure on women regarding the gender of the child they bore, as if the gender could be controlled! This is absolutely absurd. You’re going to kill thousands of baby girls for the chance to give birth to a boy?

I mentioned in my last post, that we need to have a check on these peoples’ humanity and once again I have more proof that humanity no longer exists.

In a time that we call ‘the times of ignorance,’ they would bury their daughters alive. Giving birth to a baby girl was a shame because they needed a boy to carry on the family name. If the mother gave birth to a girl, she would be concealed and then disposed of in secret.

 

Mujo and Nermina have one son and she is 9 months pregnant. They are delighted that the new baby will be a boy. It is estimated that Montenegro, which has a population of just over 620,000, will have 8,000 to 10,000 more men than women by 2025. [Erik Messori/CAPTA/Al Jazeera]

 

You must be thinking, “But this isn’t the same thing!” Yes, my dear reader, it is. The only difference is that now we have the technology and tools to determine the gender before birth so it can be dealt with before things go too far. But they killed souls then and souls are being killed now. You might argue that it is not the same thing but us humans have different views, I guess.

I’ve heard and read of many who argue that Islam is oppressive to women. We have no rights and we’re restricted, according to them. I’d like to inform these people that when our Prophet, Muhammad (may peace be upon him) started spreading Islam, one of the first things that were cut out was the killing of innocent girls unnecessarily. Islam protected those girls and taught those families that to give birth to a girl was an honor. I speak as a female in Islam: In our homes, we are honored and looked after like one would look after his treasure and if we conceal ourselves, it’s not because we’re oppressed, it’s just because we’re too valuable to just be left exposed for anyone to even look at.

So the next time you try to accuse Islam of being oppressive to Muslim women, think about that. Also, think of the fact that it is not Muslim parents aborting their would-be beautiful daughters in Montenegro.

 A young girl lights a candle at the memorial for girls who were never born at the university park in Podgorica. [Erik Messori/CAPTA/Al Jazeera]

 

Always fighting for the lives of females

Hafsa Umar, reporting for Change for the 22nd – News Our perspective (What’s happening Worldwide)

Reverse Apartheid: Is This What It’s Turning To?

I read the news and I want to cry. I live in this beautiful country, but worse, in ignorant bliss from what this country is trying to hide from me. Or perhaps what I am trying not to see.

Our country has almost reached twenty-four years of freedom but is it called freedom when its citizens live in fear?

In a previous post, I spoke about racism being South Africa’s scapegoat but perhaps it is only now that I see what in actual fact is happening.

Do you know that our country is facing guerrilla attacks that have been blown over as nothing but simple crime but now that our land is being threatened, the true stories are coming out?

Hafsa sends me links and says it’s Mozambique happening all over again. I speak to a white friend and they say it’s Zimbabwe – The Beginning. I open my news app and see torture, gunshot wounds and beatings and people living in fear. And I think to myself that are we so stupid as a creation that we do not learn from our mistakes? That we demand history to repeat itself?

 

It was once said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So this is complete insanity.

Do we blame racism again or is it finally time to look at the big picture? It is not normal for people to sleep with their 9mm’s under their pillows at night in fear that they might be attacked that night. We are not supposed to be living in a country where driving into your yard has your heart thudding because what if it is today that someone ambushes you and gets into your home?

What kind of inhumane people burn women with irons, mutilating men’s legs’ with blowtorches, stuff plastic packets down old ladies’ throats, ripping their clothes and hurting them, leaving them to bleed out on their beds? Who are you that you can calmly shoot a man between his eyes, with no care that his pregnant wife and young daughter are looking on, terrified to breathe?

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I am disgusted and when I turn to our government, I see a cabinet who feigns offence at the Australian, Mr Peter Dutton, for apparently being out-and-out racist and daring to give refuge to white South African farmers. Sorry, Mr Dutton. Your campaign is noble but it is not only white farmers who are living in fear of death every day. This campaign is to affect us all.

 

A friend said to me, “Once us white farmers are out, who do you think they’re coming after next?” I received a pointed and sympathetic look. They then continue, “I’m just glad that we’re immigrating soon.”

Are we to lose our people because they’re a minority? Are we to be the chicken and the goat and the cow who ignored the mouse’s pleas for help on seeing a mouse trap being placed? When the trap captured a snake and the wife got bitten, it was the chicken that was slaughtered to help ease her fever. When she died and the guests came flooding in, it was the goat and then the cow that were slaughtered to feed them.

Are we to sit back and watch until it’s our turn?

What is happening? How many more murders? How much more injustice?

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Will they steal our land and give nothing in return? Will they rape our women and turn away with fake sympathy when we cry? Will they murder our men and throw cents at us when our children starve?

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When will we wake up?

It’s 2018 but if Nelson Mandela woke up today and saw what our country is doing to its own people, maybe then he would make them realise who the real enemies are.

You are becoming monsters and you hide your actions behind ‘apartheid fairness’.

Trash that.

You are burning your country and when you are left in it’s ashes, there will be no farms to feed you. Only starving people looking back with blank eyes.

Thoroughly horrified, this is Ayesha Abdullah, reporting for Change for the 22nd – South Africa at Large.

 

F.R.I.E.N.D.S – Reunited

If one has been lucky enough, one can with perfect honesty say that some of the best years of one’s life were spent as a student. If not high school then college or university or whatever level of tertiary education one ended up in.

I, for one, can say that my high school years, as wrought with drama as they were, were fun. The years following that, holed up in a building that only allowed me sunlight for a few minutes a day (no guys, it wasn’t prison. Just a really strict boarding school) were years of such love and happiness and stress and tears and craziness and dementia that it can only be described as astounding.

But the best thing about these kinds of experiences has to be the people that you meet.

Friends in general, come in all forms and shapes and sizes. You get those that you have never had a decent one-on-one conversation with but are undoubtedly a part of your group. Those that annoy the heck out of you but have such jaw-droppingly epic moments that they get to stay too.

Those that you go to for only a specific type of advice like adverse medical problems or sickeningly-deep mental issues. Those friends that cuddle up with you on your bed and act like your spouse because ‘you’re aren’t getting any younger and you need practice.’ Those that bring out the child in you and you can have entire conversations involving flipped fingers and stuck out tongues with.

And those friends that you have so much in common with that it only means the two of you will be at complete loggerheads, but when it comes to crying your heart out or needing that one person who is your everything, your best friend, your sibling, the one who somehow just gets you, it’s them.

Coming to terms with reality, it’s obvious that life gets in the way of being a child. You grow up and find jobs and move away and get married. And that leaves little to no time to keep in contact with your amazing people and how then will you keep those lovely deep roots watered?

That’s the great thing about amazing friends. Months you don’t see each other with just a few rays of sunlight in the form of sporadic WhatsApp group messages nurturing that friendship and yet when you get into one room, the time falls away and its laughter and teasing galore.

Ah, the beauty of it all.

Time and time again I have been proven that it’s not about the length of absence in between. Some people just can’t do long-distance conversation (ask my husband) and it’s only this hour or two that you have to rekindle the old days.

Others can chat with you daily and still meeting up has you conversing for hours.

We have been created as creatures that need companionship. It’s not okay for us to wile our days alone and sad. Being introverted is all well and good because it’s not all about partying it up and having 1000 friends on Facebook. It’s about having people that you love and trust in your life to have your back when you need them and whose you will have when they need you.

So when it comes to days of reuniting with old friends, let yourself go. Dress up in uniform and eat everything on the menu and drink funky mocktails and be merry. Share tales and talk about old times but catch up on the new. And if things are not the same, that’s okay too. People change and you’ll find new people who too will become yours.

This thing of companionship is something to be valued. Treasure it.

I know I do.

Yours in drunken happiness

Ayesha Abdullah

The Real World & All It’s Thrills

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

YA fiction

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At first I was a bit hesitant to read this book. I scrolled passed it on ‘Goodreads’ a few times but it didn’t attract my attention enough. Until I saw it on the ‘Best Books of 2017’ list that is, and I decided, “Well, why the heck not? There’s a reason this book has reached the ‘best books’ category so let’s see if it meets up to expectations.”

The reason I was hesitant at first was because, believe it or not, the protagonists’ names mean a lot to me and ‘Eliza’ and ‘Wallace’ just did not cut it. In fact the male protagonist’s name was even a joke in the book itself. But that’s my own problem which I got over very early on in the book.

The book is basically about the lives of teenagers in the 21st century, how they deal (or don’t deal) with life, high school, social interactions and a very huge variable that affects all of our lives today: social media and the internet.

The main protagonist, Eliza, runs a very popular webcomic (Monstrous Sea) anonymously. It’s her everything and she knows it’s going to be her future. However, her parents, being of the ‘older generation’ and not really interested in what she is doing, just don’t get why she would be so uninterested in school and putting all of her hopes on a webcomic. This causes a major rift between them, the whole reason being because they don’t understand her.

Wallace, the new boy, is mute. Well, not really but he has trouble speaking in the presence of people. He’s a huge fan of Monstrous Sea and when Eliza befriends him and slowly starts falling in love with him, it becomes very difficult to continue keeping this huge secret from her new best friend.

Another reason why I decided to give the book a chance was the whole concept of art, the modern way. It was interesting to read about this development and her love for her art was beautiful.

It had me reading to the end  and I was intrigued because it was very relatable to common teenage problems these days. It covered so many different aspects: anxiety, family behavior, romance, suicidal thoughts. All of these things made the book feel more real. It was a book about growth, it was fun and also interesting watching the characters evolve as they learnt about themselves and tried so hard to deal with the problems they knew were problems.

I loved the fact that the fandom life was shown. Yes, very geeky but that’s us. We practically live in the worlds we have created for ourselves with others that understand us.

My conclusion: I felt all of these characters’ emotions and more importantly, I had a good time and wish the ride hadn’t ended so soon.

Do I recommend this book? Yes. All you YA fans, find yourself a copy right now!

Resident Fangirl

Hafsa Umar

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Thriller

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a book lover. I could read for ages, have been reading stories and books and novels since I could string a sentence together.

But giving my opinions on books? They mostly consist of: ‘asdfghjkl!!’ or ‘meh’.

But anyway, here is my go at recommending some great penned words that have been written.

For my first attempt, I have chosen Blood Sisters by Jane Corry.

This is actually unlike the normal books that I read which include romance, fantasy and of course comedy. If someone accuses me of picking up a fanfic here and there I will viciously deny it.

No. Rather this is a thriller which I normally wouldn’t have given a second glance at but just look at this cover. It’s like asking you to lift an eyebrow and ask, okay what? So despite us being told not to judge a book by its cover (ha! What an utter pile of crock!) I’ve got a thumbs up for the pull of this one.

Now to the story.

It’s interesting to say the least. I do not wish to give too much away and it does begin a bit slow but I excused that because the alternating of the chapters between two points of view, one of  a girl in an institute who is clearly brain-damaged,  and another who works in a prison, is very interesting.

This book is so full of twists and turns and betrayals! It had me on the edge of my seat and I may or may not have had whiplash at one point.

Just when you think you have figured things out, bam! Another plot twist. UNTIL THE VERY END!

I am not a fan of horror. Anything that has my heart thumping in fear of death, not anticipation, does not float my boat. But this was a mixture of intrigue and suspense along with a lot to think about. No gore so that was good.

The characters are not well-loved because they are full of flaws that just show how human people actually are and your levels of wanting to slap some of the characters is something best experienced.

I learnt a lot from this book which is always a plus for me because I love having more knowledge about new topics.

If you’re looking for a break from the norm, this book is for you.

And drop us your own review, if you will.

Breaking Away From My Comfort Zone

Ayesha Abdullah

 

Me too: How Many More Women Will Be Forced to Say This???

The “Me Too” hashtag has been sweeping the world since October 2017, encouraging women to speak up if they have been sexually harassed.

“Tarana Burke’s original ‘Me, Too’ campaign, launched in 2007, aimed to provide support to survivors of sexual violence who were marginalized, poor, under-represented and without a network or community to protect them. This, in a nutshell, meant that it focused on females of colour who lacked support and resources. Alyssa’s #MeToo tweet in October more than hit a nerve — it helped launch a new solidarity among millions of women who increasingly, urgently, shared their infuriating, devastating accounts of sexual violence and harassment.” – The Guardian

So far over half a million women have tweeted ‘Me Too’.

This campaign has given many women strength as well as support to speak up for themselves, defend their rights and announce that what has happened to them IS NOT OKAY.

A huge encouragement for women worldwide has been the celebrities contributing to the #MeToo with their own stories of rape and sexual harassment. Many stories that have been concealed for years are now being exposed, such as the three allegations of rape against US President, Donald Trump, which he has denied but at this point I think we know Mr. Trump better than he knows himself. Dear America, how do you feel about having a sexist, rapist as president?

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In many countries this campaign has made a huge difference for the women, helped them start women empowerment programs and fight against sexism.

France has recently made a stand against sexist stereotypes on ads – toy trucks marketed for boys, naked women selling vacuum cleaners, the list goes on.

The Eiffel Tower lit up to honor women’s rights (the French equivalent of the Time’s Up movement) with the message “Maintenant on Agit” (“Now we act”) launched by the Foundation of Women. This movement was aimed to raise funds for associations helping pursue cases before justice, “so that no woman ever has to say #MeToo.”

To this, I say: Well done, women of France. This world is in need of more people who stand up for our rights.

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So this shows that the #MeToo movement has made quite the positive effect in some countries.

But what about the countries who simply don’t give a damn about the rights of women?

Russia, for instance, ignoring the women who cry rape, using the stories of these women who speak up as a source of entertainment instead of dealing with it as a problem and calling these men out on their disgusting behavior.

Let us take Leonid Slutsky, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Russian parliament’s lower house, as an example. I’m having a difficult time understanding how this man is getting away with three allegations of sexual harassment and unwanted advances. Not one but three! Lets not forget that one of these women even had recorded proof but still none of this was accepted. Why? Firstly, because he denied it and labeled these women as political attackers when they had first made their allegations anonymously. Later, when their identities were made known, the reason why they were not heard was because they were NON- RUSSIAN. Yes, non-Russian. The three women who had come forward were distrusted because one of them was Georgian, another worked for a foreign news organization and a third one for an anti-Kremlin one.

But let’s look at the fact that these women were ignored because he is a man and that alone is enough for their allegations to fall on deaf ears. It has reached a point that even other females were against the three Slutsky accusers. How is this possible? How can they not have the decency to stand for their kind because no one else will?

How can a situation like this be warped so horribly that it has now become the women’s fault and nothing they say will give them the right to put this power abuser down?

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Oksana Pushkina, a female lawmaker, who tried to stand up for these women was advised against this. Why? Because fighting sexual harassment would decrease the already low birthrates. Is this actually a reason for allowing rape to continue? Maybe we should take out sometime to look at their sense of morality AND humanity.

The women are not respected, they are abused and made to feel bad when they are the ones taken advantage of.

To such an extent that they’re afraid to speak up when they are wronged in this manner because they feel embarrassed and at fault. Why is it like this when men should feel ashamed for violating the rights of another? So what if this ‘another’ is of the opposite sex? Why does it matter that it’s a woman? Why are women considered so low that it’s okay to strip her of her clothes and her dignity? Is it because we don’t have the physical strength to fight for ourselves and these so-called ‘men’ want to feel powerful so they go to the only place they can force that power? If so, that is not power. That is cheap. It is weakness. It is cowardice and the only ones that should hide in shame are these awful, craven men.

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Farida Rustamova, the Journalist who recorded her encounter with Slutksy was later told by Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who wasn’t convinced of these allegations, “You feel it’s dangerous to work in parliament? If so, change your job.”

No Farida, you should NOT change your job.

In no environment should a woman feel unsafe, insecure and feel as if she is surrounded by predators. We are humans and it is time to act like it.

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Harvey Weinstein, Leonid Slutsky, Donald Trump, the #MeToo movement stands up against men like you. The women of Russia will win against men like you as well as every other country that chooses to ignore the rights of women, those women will win against you.

Sexism is archaic in a world that is recognizing the rights of women and this world has no place for these animalistic behaviors anymore.

This is Hafsa Umar, fighting for women’s rights at Change for the 22nd on The News-Our Perspective.

Sources :

www.news24.com

www.bloomberg.com

www.theguardian.com